Every year at the end of September, the editors of The Stranger gleefully reboil the same content they boiled last year and call it the Back to School Guide. The intended reader is a college student at the verge of their intellectual prime, but every year the information is so painfully obvious, so abundantly unnecessary, that only a boob could find it illuminating. If you become diseased, see a doctor—that sort of thing. Of course, this being The Stranger, all the advice is garnished with hedonistic liberal bromides about abortion, promiscuity, homosexuality, drinking to the point of illness, and alleged good uses of one's time. This is clearly a winning formula for The Stranger—judging from the page count—and will probably succeed in shocking multiple young university students from east of the mountains who only seek to navigate these treacherous new waters with dignity and purpose. But for the vast majority of The Stranger's readers—those who are not confused, impressionable, new-to-town college students, but merely confused—this material is shameless regurgitation.

The only new thing to be found within this year's issue is a 400-word cry for help by a young man whose internship at The Stranger has (spoiler alert!) not helped him secure paid employment in the field of journalism.


CITY: Incoming freshmen, here's a note about the news section in this paper. Scarcely a week goes by without impugning the dignity of a Christian in a position of authority, especially a Christian who does not apologize for applying his beliefs to the world at large. Very often—as with this week—the Christian is Pastor Ken Hutcherson and the impugner is ELI SANDERS, a Stranger associate editor and a homosexual Jew. Their differences of opinion have produced an unquantifiable body of obnoxious, one-sided journalism.

ARTS: Skipped.

CHOW: Same.

MUSIC: For the first time in her career, JEN GRAVES writes something comprehensible regarding something relevant. At Seattle Symphony's opening night last week, Miss Graves saw from the confines of the press area what I saw much more clearly from up in my box seats, which is that Frenchman Ludovic Morlot has revived the orchestra. That Miss Graves would have the good sense to observe this, and to say this, seems so beyond the realm of the imaginable that I had to confirm her name was not errantly ascribed to someone else's work, and then had to confirm that music editor GRANT BRISSEY still exists, as he is known to only assign articles about bands that sound like people shrieking because they're on fire. Mr. Brissey accepted the praise for this week's piece, but when asked if he would please assign more coverage of classical music, he replied, "Shut up."

FILM: Mercifully free of Lindy West, albeit only temporarily.